Premier League side Everton are now drawing up contingency plans should they lose the services of defender John Stones to Chelsea this summer.
Hence, the Toffees have inquired about Italian centre-back, Andrea Ranocchia with Serie A side Inter Milan, according to talkSPORT.
Manager Roberto Martinez has outright maintained his stance that John Stones is ‘not for sale at any price’ but he also faces the inevitability that Stones himself might be tempted to make the move to Stamford Bridge.
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Daily Mail reports that Everton may have reject three bids from the Premier League champions till now with the latest being £30 million but chairman Bill Kenwright could consider any fee closer to £40 million taking into perspective Everton’s financial future.
Comes at a price
However, Ranocchia would not come cheap as the 27-year-old signed a new four year contract with the San Siro outfit and was also handed the captain’s armband last summer, as per Sky Sports.
The Merseyside club have already lost Sylvain Distin and Altolin Alcaraz this summer and Stones may be on the verge of joining The Blues before the end of the transfer window.
Ranocchia may be one of their prime targets but they face competition from league rivals Arsenal as well as Manchester United who are closely monitoring the Italian's situation.
Although contracted with Inter till 2019, as per Transfermarkt.com, the Milan based club may offload the defender if the right offer comes. Martinez wouldn’t have issues regarding money to complete the deal if they themselves sell Stones to Chelsea.
Ranocchia has been with Inter Milan for the last five seasons making over 150 appearances and scoring nine goals.
He also has 20 international caps for Italy since 2010 and WhoScored.com claim his key strengths include aerial duels, tackling, and blocking the ball.